Paul Chartrand

The Grand Remediator

Great Art for Great Lakes Paul Chartrand - The Grand Remediator

Paul Chartrand is a visual artist who engages with environmental issues through the construction of sculptural life support apparatuses populated with living plants. He repurposes objects and cultural signifiers like language to act as habitats and conceptual support systems. Doing this subverts and re-contextualizes them as players in functioning ecosystems. Currently he is focused on living text installations, hydroponic assemblages and interdisciplinary drawing practices. The plants and other natural elements that Paul involves all have agency of their own; manifested through their power to change the appearance and effect of the work. Often the projects are dispersed through viewer participation that includes planting, conserving, reading and physical consumption. By working with plants, it is Paul’s intention to meaningfully engage with their agency as well as their relationships with humans past, present and future.

For his GAGL 2020 project, Paul seeks to use traditional and scientific methodologies to develop a humble monument to water purification and remediation. Using hundreds of cardboard tubes designed by public participants, each tube will be filled with layers of filtering substrates, a purifying mound will be constructed and subsequently planted with willow and other plants to assist in purifying runoff water before it reaches the River. A repurposed aluminum boat will act as a site marker and locus of knowledge containing information about the plants and techniques used to cleanse the water.

Save your toilet paper rolls and join in! See below for full workshop details and sign up to participate.



Aug 29


"The Grand Remediator" with Paul Chartrand

The Mind is a River

Please email Alexis at to register.
This event is FREE with registration. Spots are limited and filling up quickly. Register to reserve your spot solo or as a bubble (group of up to 10 people). Please note that registration is strictly required so we can properly prepare and follow safety guidelines.

We are excited to offer 4 bubble groups of 10 people the opportunity to join us for this very special event at Shared Harvest Organic Farm. Led by artist Paul Chartrand with special guests Dan McKay who helped establish the Thompson Creek Eco Centre, this fun filled summer afternoon on the farm includes art making (Try your hand at mind mapping graffiti on the side of a boat), a walk and talk along the Grand River, all accompanied by a free locally sourced, lovingly made, cup of home-made soup!

It’s going to be a sunny summer afternoon, so complimentary beer samples will be provided by Concession Road Brewery!

We look forward to a beautiful afternoon of engagement and connection, and will be following strict safety protocols. Ongoing hand washing and sanitizing will be the order of the day. Let’s all stay healthy and safe.


July 1

1:00 pm
Seneca Park parking lot, Caledonia

"The Grand Remediator" with Paul Chartrand

Workshop 2: Folk Ecology Hike with artist Paul Chartrand and poet Karen Houle

Our first in-person, social distancing Canada Day hike with artist Paul Chartrand and poet Karen  Houle as they discuss the history of the Grand River as an ecological treasure in the process of creating the new public art piece, ‘The Grand Remediator’.

Have you ever walked or driven by the Grand River? Do you know any of her stories and histories? Do you have one of your own?

Paul and Karen will engage walkers through the creative process of “mind mapping” during a break by the idyllic riverbank. Add your voice to the discussion and make your very own personal mind maps on toilet paper rolls, to be included in Paul’s ‘The Grand Remediator’ public installation artwork!

Materials to bring:
  • Toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls
  • Drawing materials like pencil, charcoal or conte (NOT paint, marker, ink…)
  • Appropriate clothing for a walk and a snack and water for a brief break. We will be walking the Rotary Trail, meeting in Seneca Park parking lot, Caledonia.

About special guest Karen Houle:

Karen Houle is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Guelph. Houle is the author of more than forty refereed articles published in international scholarly journals and anthologies, and, most recently, The Grand River Watershed: A Folk Ecology (2019), one of five finalists that year for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. Houle lives in the Grand River watershed.


May 29

3:00-4:00pm, Zoom Webinar

"The Grand Remediator" with Paul Chartrand

Workshop 1: Unroll Your Thoughts with Paul

Artist Paul Chartrand will introduced the “Grand Remediator” project and explained why he asked participants to save toilet paper and paper towel rolls. Discover Paul’s thought-mapping processes and find out why he’s filling an old boat with plants anyway.

Materials you will need:
  • Toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls
  • Drawing materials like pencil, charcoal or conte (NOT paint, marker, ink…)
  • Your own unique way of thinking and making notes
As part of the Great Art for Great Lakes project, your rolls will be documented and used in Paul’s “Grand Remediator” installation, to be publicly installed in Dunnville!